Snowden Had Top Spy Lawyer on Retainer Sought plea deal to return home By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Apr 29, 2014 8:15 AM CDT 7 comments Comments This June 9, 2013, file photo provided by the Guardian shows Edward Snowden. (AP Photo/The Guardian, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, File) (Newser) – Last summer, hoping to strike a plea deal with the US, Edward Snowden lawyered up: The former NSA contractor had leading espionage lawyer Plato Cacheris on retainer, insiders tell the New York Times. "Snowden is interested in returning home," says another of his lawyers, Ben Wizner of the ACLU. "He would cooperate in extraordinary ways in the right circumstances." Cacheris has represented big names like Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent and spy for the Soviet Union who avoided the death penalty in a plea deal, the Wire notes. For Snowden, there hasn't been much progress on a bargain with prosecutors, the Times notes; he could still face 30 or more years in jail.